Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spleens, Garlic, Stinking Hellebore and the Gyppo...

Sea Spleenwort
A varied morning began with a  brief visit to the sea cliff bottom just a couple of hundred yards from home to photograph a new plant for me - Sea Spleenwort Asplenium marinum.  Not having heard of it before, I only stumbled upon it by accident on the internet this week, then found that it could be seen on my doorstep. It is found on rocks and buildings within the range of salty sea spray, so it is quite easy to locate. This fern has a more westerly distribution generally and is scarce in Northumberland.

While taking some pics, a Yellow Wagtail flew in-off, calling, and a Sand Martin flew overhead.  

Next stop Newton Pool for some migrants. As Gary noted, I have been visiting his patch most weekends recently. The main reason being, that I have a hankering for some wetlands again. For years, Druridge and Cresswell were my weekend haunt, but now those places are busy constantly, and are quite a drive south, so Newton has it all, only 6 miles from home. My home patch now, is still very nice, but the habitat is more designed for pheasants, than waders and wildfowl.

Egyptian Goose, front, with Greylag.
 The first thing I noticed down on the scrapes was Gary standing on the track, phone to his ear. Mmm, was he ringing out news of some overshot vagrant? A quick glance at the marsh revealed the object of the excitement - Egyptian Goose!

Only my second in the county, so it would be rude not to get some snaps. Gary had the nerve to suggest that he didn't want a Greylag in shot as it made the gyppo look 'plastic'! Birders eh.... ;) We were soon joined by Mr Steele, who, despite protestations, came especially to twitch the goose. Yes he did. Dont let him tell you different.

Also here were 2 Ruff, a steady passage of Sand Martins, my first Swallow of 2014, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff. Out on the point, a Whimbrel and a few Sandwich Terns were new year list additions, but Skylarks and Meadow Pipits the only passerines.

After leaving Newton, with a little time to spare, I called in briefly at Embleton Quarry. This overgrown scrubby corner has a pool too, though it looks polluted, there were a few ducks present, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Shelduck, Mallard.

Another couple of plants new to me were nice to see. Although naturalised escapes, in the world of botany (new to me), I think they are still ok to add to the list.  Good numbers of 7 Spot Ladybirds and a Peacock butterfly were noted.

Stinking Hellebore
Few flowered Garlic
7 spot Ladybird

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Like that Ladybird shot Stewart, the Skylark is a keeper too :-)